OldMrCrow (2404) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 31, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2007 From the bottle
Pours an almost entirely opaque obsidian with red highlights and a fine head that fades to a modest haze covering the surface of the beer.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee, raisin syrup, plums, and a hint of wheat.
The flavor is splendid in its balance and intensity; this is a beer that you can savor for an hour without feeling as if you are holding back, taking small micro-sips that explode onto the palate and blast through a robust cycle of flavor. That palate is full and well-rounded and the 9% ABV is masterfully hidden. The flavor? All of the expected - the splendid thing about this beer is not any particular unusual component, but rather the balance and intensity of the components.: plum, raisin, a slight bit of brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke, and a relatively dry (and very long) finish.
This is one fine imperial stout, and itís become a regular house beer for me. I go to it again and again and never expect it to be as good as I remember --- and it always is.
Addendum: On tap at Brouwers, along with a slice of chocolate cake, this was surely one of the best beers Iíve ever enjoyed. Darn near perfect.
Aged 18 months. At 18 months, I donít think that age has improved this beer. If anything, itís lost some of its edge; the rich intensity has stepped back and thereís really not much new that is coming through in its place. It feels a little thin, still extremely tasty but more like a 4.0 or 4.1 beer.
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - DEC 29, 2005
4.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle: Black night appearance, charcoal head. Aroma was dancing with loads of coffee malts and carmel hints. Candied yeast followed that, with chocoalte finishing in its wake. Mouthfeel was almost perfect, very little carbination, which I liked. Taste blasted through with huge malt coffee flavor, follwed with candied brown sugar and chocolate at the end. The only thing I didnít like was the bitter finish. Otherwise a perfect brew.
CMUBEERMAN (426) - - DEC 29, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not the strongest imperial stout on the market. However, it is really good. Definitely fruity and balanced in the coffee and chocolate department. Very little alcohol. Not very complex...at all.
xproudfoot (750) - Paleolithic, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2005 Bottle. Aroma knocks me on my ass immediately upon uncapping. Apples, alcohol, yeast... fruit cornucopia, raisin, milk chocolate, nuts. Senses are super excited. Pours mahogany with a huge tan head (thatís a gentle pour!) Green apples prominent in the flavor of the head, with a big bite of dark chocolate w/fruit in the head too. Beer replicates those flavors with more prominent dark chocolate, alocohol detectable, but perfectly balanced. Infinite and beautiful finish that prolongs the joy.
At rating 110, this is a gold standard for me - 2nd time Iíve had it and both times it impressed me that it was better than almost any other beer Iíd had.
lethe (177) - New York, USA - DEC 22, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A nice stout throughout. Khaki head atop an obsidian brew with a lively nose of roast, chocolate, and cream notes. Flavor is more of the same with a distinct roast character that gives way to an assertive hop finish. Enjoyable and impressive in its depth of malt tones as well as hop impact.
saxo (16771) - HÝjbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 22, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2008 Pours thick black. Rich creamy mouthfeel. Can really taste the alcohol. Bitter chocolate taste tool.
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Solid stout, and better on tap, although this rating (and Iím guessing majority of the ones here) is from the bottled version. Given I even tried to pour it to take advantage of the bit of nitro in the bottle, Iím still not overly impressed with this one. Thereís a somewhat abrasive hop finish with a bit of unwarranted sweetness, but thatís almost the least of its problems. I simply donít find this overwhelmingly complex, at least not Top50 complex. Thereís some chocolate, some roasted coffee notes, enough to leave one longing for more complexity. And lastly, the palate is suprisingly thin, not big and chewy like the best of the Impys. It reminds me of a very good stout, and a mediocre imperial stout.
spclerk (47) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 19, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2006 One of the best Iíve had. Difficult to describe the complexity of flavor. Stunned to discover, after drinking, the 9% alc content. You have to try this.
Quiver (140) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - DEC 19, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A beautiful beer. Nice tan frothy head.. almost creamy. Black as night. Good lacing. Taste started off a lillte too coffee and smokey for my taste. But quickly smoothed out and finished quite nicely
CaptKirk (175) - Hephzibah, Georgia, USA - DEC 18, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had this one in the bottle out of the frig. Let it stand for a few minutes before drinking it. Warm sweet coffee and chocolate aroma. Poured dark and rich with a tan head. First sip was sweet and velvety that coated the tongue and woke the senses. I love a good stout and this is one of the best. No wonder it was so highly rated. If you like a stout, you owe it to yourself to try it